NICEVILLE, Fla. – The fifth-ranked Northwest Florida women's basketball team opened the 2019-20 season in style with an 86-63 rout of No. 20 Wabash Valley on Saturday in Raider Arena.
Freshman Masengo Mutanda turned in a spectacular debut going 10-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range to lead all scorers with 25 points.
Northwest Florida (1-0) allowed an uncontested layup on the game's opening possession but took full control of the game from there scoring the next 14 points en route to a 54-24 lead at halftime.
Chanaya Pinto scored 18 points with a game-high nine rebounds and five assists on 8-of-19 shooting. Rayven Peeples added 16 points and six boards, while the team's lone returning letterwinner from last season, Gabriela Sales, chipped in with 12 points.
The Raiders' defense created scoring opportunities all game forcing 20 turnovers which led to 33 points.
"Defense has been our staple since I've been here," head coach Bart Walker said. "We created a lot of easy shots off our defense. We created tempo, we created good number situations. We're going to try and keep building on that. Offensively, we had an advantage in the post and really tried to work inside out and make easy shots under the basket."
Northwest Florida led by as many as 35 points in the game and claimed a win in the season opener for the fifth consecutive year.
Wabash Valley (1-1) shot under 30 percent in the first half but finished at 41.3 percent (19-46) from the floor. NWF converted at a 56.9 percent (33-58) clip, including shooting 81.8 percent in the middle quarters.
The Raiders travel to Tyler, Texas to face Tyler and Angelina on Nov. 8 and 9, respectively.
For more information on Northwest Florida women's basketball, visit NWFRaiders.com or follow us on Twitter at @NWF_Raiders.